Where is the Occipital Condyle located?

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Occipital condyles

The two skeletal areas that exist at the bottom of the occipital bone on the lower back section of the skull are called Occipital condyles. Occipital condyle is the area in which the skull assembles to the vertebra, the foremost bone of the You do not have access to view this node. Occipital condyle is jam-packed with muscles and ligaments. Occipital Condyle maintains the head in vertical position and support in the movement also. Occipital Condyle contains all the nerves traversing it that are accountable for all the You do not have access to view this node’s chief tasks. Each condyle is situated on either the sides of the foramen magnum, the opening in the skull base all the way through which the spinal cord come into the cranium. In order to have a clear understanding of the function of the occipital condyle, it is vital to know the anatomy of the atlas bone in the human body structure.


What is the anatomy of Occipital Condyle?

 The topmost bone of the cervical vertebrae is the atlas bone which is also known as C1. It is void, as the spinal cord traverses it, and attributes two skeletal framework that project crossways, one both the sides. These frameworks are termed to as the tangential masses and are mainly in charge for balancing the heaviness of the head on the neck. The occipital condyles are the reputation of the paired lateral exoccipital portions of the occipital You do not have access to view this node, which outline the foramen magnum jointly with the basioccipital segment in the frontal position and the supraoccipital or squamosal segment in the latter position. In essence, the bone in the region of the foramen magnum comprises the primary border of a tremendously multifaceted three element joint with complicated purposeful affairs among the occiput, atlas, and occipito atlanto axial complex (CCJ). The CCJ consist of six synovial-lined You do not have access to view this node: 

  • the coupled occipitoatloid You do not have access to view this node

  • the frontal and posterior center atlanto-odontoid You do not have access to view this node

  • the coupled atlantoaxial You do not have access to view this node. 


What is the shape of occipital condyles?

  • The general appearance of the occipital condyle is egg-shaped or kidney-shaped.
  • Basically, occipital condyle inclines in the lower level from sideways to center and creates an angle 25 degree to 28 degree in adults.
  • The occipito-atloid joints are “bowl-shaped” coupled joints between the curved areas of the occipital condyles and the topmost hollow areas of the articular (the smooth, white tissue that wraps the last parts of You do not have access to view this node) surfaces of the atlas.
  • Occipital condyles and the top articular surfaces of the atlas incline descending centrally, in the coronal plane.
  • The frontal atlanto-odontoid articulation is flanked by the frontal curves of the atlas and the frontal feature of the odontoid route of the axis.
  • The rear atlanto-odontoid joint is flanked by the rear feature of the odontoid process of the axis and the anterior cartilaginous feature of the transverse segment of the slanting tendon of the atlas.
  • The atlantoaxial articulations are coupled articulations sandwiched between the lower articular surfaces of the atlas and the higher articular facets of the axis.


What does an Occipital Condyles fracture (OCF) mean?

Occipital condyle fractures are a typical outcome in trauma fatality. Sir Charles Bell was the one who described Occipital Condyle Fractures (OCFs) in 1817 during the post-mortem examination of a trauma fatality. Occipital condylar fractures (OCFs) were atypical due to the diagnostic difficulties, till CT scan came into reality.

Fractures of occipital condyles bone can be either linear or compressed.

  • A linear fracture is akin to a fracture in a wall. Often, linear fractures are incredibly stable. Linear fracture requires certain period of time to repair. Generally, linear fractures are less harsh, and suggested treatment classically involves wearing a neck brace which maintains the heaviness of the head off the vertebrae. This offers the bone great possibility to heal and also lessens the danger of spinal cord damage due to the contact of it with fractured You do not have access to view this node.
  • Compressed fractures may result in damage to other tissues in close proximity. Compressed fractures are more likely to put pressure on in tissues that are in close proximity. Hence, surgery may be essential to repair the damage to the area without endangering the You do not have access to view this node. Nevertheless, mild compressed fractures may be treated like linear fractures, and let to heal inertly with the help of a neck brace.


What is the medical significance of Occipital Condyle fracture?

The medical significance of OCFs is due to the intimacy of the occipital condyles to the medulla oblongata, vertebral arteries, and lower cranial nerves. The medulla oblongata, meninges, vertebral arteries, frontal and rear spinal arteries, and veins that correspond with the inner vertebral venous plexus cross the foramen magnum that is enclosed by the other portions of the occipital bone. Especially, the pattern of the atlantoaxial segment of the vertebral artery, in general, permits about 35 degree of head and atlas rotary motion. Inside the pedestal of each occipital condyle lounge the hypoglossal channels which is the frontal condyloid through which the hypoglossal nerve (cranial nerve) traverse. Sideways to the occipital condyle and hypoglossal channel and rear to the carotid canal lies the jugular foramen, the rear foramen lacerum which is a factual channel holding the cranial nerves, inferior petrosal sinus, innermost jugular vein, and rear meningeal artery. So, it is apparent that a shifted and transferred portion as a result of OCF, in addition to a total fracture encompassing the hypoglossal channel and/or the jugular foramen can create damage to the medulla oblongata, vascular frameworks and inferior cranial nerves.


How is screening done in patients with OCF?

On a general level most patients with OCFs might have different symptoms and response to treatment but one thing that is common in all cases is a moderate Glasgow Coma Scale score. Conditions such as brainstem and vascular abrasions are clinically atypical and are typically deadly. Due to the high inconsistency and short-fall of specificity of cues and indications in clinical presentation, diagnostic imaging is vital for the analysis of OCFs. Skull and cervical spine radiographs that are got recurrently in patients with manifold traumas habitually may not depict any irregularity due to the facial skeleton superimposition. Also, CT scan is the method of option for the analyzing OCFs. All said and done, no matter what the trauma or the extent of damage is, an OCF is always suspected in patients who have suffered a huge blow on their head or any other accident affecting this part.

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